Learn About the Four C's of Diamonds
If you're shopping for a diamond, it's important you understand how they're graded and how to choose the right one for you. There are four main factors in diamond grading you need to become familiar with. Best known as the "4 Cs", these are the diamond's Color, Clarity, Cut, and Carat Weight.
Diamonds naturally develop in every color of the rainbow, although most retail customers are only interested in diamonds that are colorless. To help customers better select the right diamond, the jewelry industry formulated a set of color standards to rate diamond color. Natural diamonds are rated as "D" (colorless) to "Z" (yellow). The best color for a diamond is no color at all. A colorless diamond allows light to easily pass through it, resulting in the light being dispersed as the color of the rainbow.
Diamond cut refers to the diamond's proportions, not the diamond shape (Round Brilliant, Marquise, Pear, Princess, etc.). All natural diamonds regardless of shape get a majority of its brilliance and scintillation through cut facets. A correctly cut, "Excellent Cut," stone allows the maximum amount of light to enter through its top to be reflected and dispersed back.
A diamond's clarity is determined by the volume and position of imperfections, or blemishes, inside a diamond when surveyed under 10X power magnification. Clarity is graded Flawless to Imperfect 3 (see chart below). Almost all diamonds have a few birthmarks known as "inclusions." Inclusions can hinder light passing through the diamond. The fewer and smaller the inclusions are, the more beautiful and brilliant a diamond will be.
Diamond Carat Weight
The mass of a diamond is measured in carats. As the carat weight of a diamond increases so does its rarity and therefore its price. One carat is divided into 100 "points," so that a diamond of 75 points weights 0.75 carats. The carat-weight of a diamond is the easiest measurement to determine. Most importantly, two diamonds can be of equal carat-weight, but their value can differ greatly due to their cut, color, and clarity.
Questions? Speak with a jewelry specialist at 1-800-490-6350 or send us a message.